513th ERHS joins the Forward Edge

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Akeem K. Campbell
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

“We don’t get deployments in such beautiful locations all the time,” said Master Sgt. Casey Epps, 513th Expeditionary Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineer (ERHS) project manager. “It’s something new, but at the same time, the scope of the work and projects being done are very gratifying in the overall mission. I think the project and the location is what’s being enjoyed as part of this deployment.”

On Aug. 11, 2023, the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) activated the 513th ERHS at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

“The wing can expect a well-trained group of professionals to execute and build out this theater,” said Maj. Anthony Simmons, 513th ERHS commander. “We won’t stop at Guam but also throughout the rest of the area of responsibility (AOR).”

The purpose of having an ERHS on Andersen is to bolster and strengthen agile combat employment capabilities (ACE) in the Pacific region, supporting the 36th Wing priorities which are people, win and transform.

The 513th ERHS conducts airfield construction in different locations and their mission is to set the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) theater infrastructures to facilitate ACE operations. This also fulfills the 356th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group (ECEG) mission, which is to build, sustain and exercise PACAF’s warfighting platforms and the USINDOPACOM mission, which is to implement a combat credible deterrence strategy capable of denying our adversaries sustained air and sea dominance by focusing on posturing the Joint Force to win before fighting while being ready to fight and win, if required. The 356th ECEG was activated the same day the 513th ERHS was activated.

 “There’s a huge undertaking that we are a part of right now, and it’s a revitalization effort of airfields in the Pacific region,” Epps said. “A lot of those airfields are World War II era and ultimately, the goal is to strengthen our ACE.”

The 513th ERHS is a deployed unit, and the 820th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineer (RHS) from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, is the first and current RHS to fill the 513th ERHS. Overtime, the 820th RHS will return to Nellis AFB and be replaced by another RHS to fill the 513th ERHS, continuing the rotation.

“Currently, we’re building up and repairing the airfield on Northwest Field so we can support and facilitate our mission of ACE in this theater,” said Senior Master Sgt. Dontaevious Barber, 513th ERHS senior enlisted leader.

The 36th Wing welcomes the 513th ERHS, and they are here to stay.

“It’s a cool thing to see the activation and stand up of the 513th ERHS,” Simmons said. “This is just a small piece in announcing our country’s commitment to this AOR and demonstrates its capability to project air power, so this is a huge win. Our work doesn’t stop here. We’ll start branching out to the other islands and getting more work done there, expanding capabilities and projecting air power so that we can deter any potential aggression.”